Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Taking Back the Country

Two recent articles on how progressives can win give what I think is sage advice on what progressives should avoid and what they should emphasize in the coming elections.

Surveys show that the country is center right on social issues and center left on economic issues. Progressives have let the right introduce social issue after social issue such as gay marriage or abortion and make it the center piece of the campaign to hide the fact that conservative policies are designed to eliminate government programs that help the poor and middle class and create a tax code that favors the rich. Progressives must not let this happen again.

A good starting point for framing the argument in progressive terms is Bush’s Budget. His budget proposal makes substantial cuts in education, the environment, programs which help the poor move up the economic ladder, safety, and even the "war on terror" by cutting funds for police and firemen. It gives away tax cuts to big business, and the wealthy, while median household incomes and wages are falling.

In a memo entitled Progressive Message on the President’s Budget, The Center for American Progress proposes four key messages which frame the issues in our terms.

  • Wrong Choices, Wrong Priorities
  • Cutting investment in what keeps America strong
  • We now see Who and What conservatives really value
  • The consequences for America are dire

The authors go on to flesh out each of these messages and to framing them to show how the country will suffer if this budget is implemented and they do it in such a way as to avoided using the language of the right.

I believe this make a good starting point for liberals to take our message to the country and I commend these articles to the reader.